The Braves have won 27 of their last 34 games, including a 14-game win streak, sitting just 3.5 games back of the reeling Mets. The rotation has solidified as Max Fried establishes himself as one of the best starters in the game, Charlie Morton looks like the 2021 version of himself, and Spencer Strider is making a serious case to be Rookie of the Year. That’s without mentioning Kyle Wright, who could make his first All-Star game amid a breakout campaign.
The bullpen is also doing its part. The Arm Barn boasts some of the best numbers in the MLB, and they’ve yet to be healthy once this season. This team is heads and shoulders better than the one that took home the Commissioner’s Trophy thanks to the arms in Atlanta; however, the team’s offense could make a case for one of the deepest all-time.
*All stats as of 7/6
Just to tinker with the idea of there are no holes, I wanted to throw out some numbers for the three parts of the Braves lineup. For argument’s sake, this is the lineup I’ll be using:
- Ronald Acuna Jr./li>
- Dansby Swanson
- Matt Olson
- Austin Riley
- Travis d’Arnaud
- Marcell Ozuna
- William Contreras
- Orlando Arcia
- Michael Harris II
- Hitters 1-3: slashing .295/.358/.466 with an .824 OPS, 33 homers, 115 RBIs, 59 doubles, and 120 runs
- Hitters 4-6: slashing .256/.311/.486 with a .797 OPS, 49 homers, 123 RBIs, 45 doubles, and 120 runs
- Hitters 7-9: slashing .272/.334/.476 with an .808 OPS, 18 homers, 56 RBIs, 21 doubles, and 53 runs
Those are absolutely insane numbers with little to no drop-off as you go down the order. That’s also without considering the contributions from Ozzie Albies, Adam Duvall, and Eddie Rosario. Before his injury, Albies was hitting .244/.289/.405 with an OPS of .694, eight long balls, and 33 RBIs. Duvall is hitting .205/.271/.375 with a .646 OPS, ten homers, and 32 RBIs. Since returning from eye surgery, Rosario is slashing .300/.300/.600 with a .900 OPS and a home run in three games.
Albies was having a down year, but even his slumps are better than Arcia and Phil Gosselin. Duvall started slow but has regressed toward the mean; he’ll never be a high average hitter, but his power is what makes him valuable. And in a small sample size, it looks like steady Eddie is back. The Braves legit have ten players who could hit 20+ home runs over the course of a full season; it’s just a headache of an assignment for opposing pitchers to face.
They rank second in the NL in OPS, first in home runs, first in doubles, and first in the MLB in total bases. They have a serious case for the best offense in baseball, especially considering they haven’t played a single game at full strength.
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire